Hepatitis E

Symptoms and diagnosis

The average incubation period is around two to nine weeks.

Some people don’t develop any symptoms; others experience fatigue, fever, dark urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.

A blood sample can be tested for antibodies to hepatitis E. If someone has a weak immune system (e.g. someone living with HIV, or a transplant patient), then a PCR test for viral RNA can also be used to test a blood or stool sample.

Glossary

PCR

Polymerase chain reaction, a method of amplifying fragments of genetic material so that they can be detected. Some viral load tests use this method.

RNA

Ribonucleic acid, the form in which a virus stores its genetic material.In hepatitis C, RNA (viral load) testing is used for diagnosis, to help predict treatment outcome and to monitor response to treatment.

Currently, there is no recognised, or approved, treatment for acute or chronic hepatitis E. In small, experimental studies, chronic hepatitis E has been successfully treated with ribavirin. These data are being further examined.

This information is provided by Deutsche Leberhilfe e.V.